Sunday, 1 March 2009

Jenkins and Wood Outed as Plaid Rebels

Politics Cymru understands that Bethan Jenkins and Leanne Wood are the 2 Plaid AMs who won't be voting with the Assembly Government on the controversial introduction of top-up fees in Wales.

They're backing a campaign by Cymru X (Plaid's youth wing) who are writing to the party's AMs asking them to maintain their policy.

Plaid have been accused of campaigning against top-up fees while voting with their Labour coalition partners to introduce them.

This issue also seems to be highlighting differences in approach within the party.

On last week's Politics Show Wales the Chair of Plaid Cymru, John Dixon, said that in government compromises have to be made while on Tuesday Plaid Minister Elin Jones defended the move and said that most of the party's AMs were supportive of the idea.

Ms Jenkins and Ms Wood therefore appear to be in the minority but could their rebellion be enough to cause damage to the coalition or to make their party's ministers think again?

Dewi Tri



Al Iguana said...

Outed? hmmm.... seems obvious to me, given that they're two of the handful of politicians in Wales who stand for what they believe in, not what they're told to believe in. If there was a party full of Bethans and Leannes I'd vote for them, because they'd get stuff done, instead of just jawing-on about it endlessly.

Now, the question is whether Plaid will bend to accommodate them, or find a compromise, or turn their backs on them. If it's the latter, then they're in danger of losing my vote.

btw Happy St David's day to your readers/listeners!

Anonymous said...

Yes. This was completely obvious Politics Cymru. And how can you call them rebels when they are actually following their own party's policy? You need to be more accurate in your use of language.

The Pope said...

You'll be telling us that bears shit in the woods next.

I've enjoyed this site so far, especially the podcasts, and it's added to the Welsh blogscene but this is poor boys - backbenchers rebel on a regular basis (see the 130 Labour MPs re mail privatisation).

And the use of "rebel" is questionable given that Wood and Jenkins are the ones sticking to party policy - Ieuan is the rebel from what I can see.

A. Pope

Politics Cymru said...

Greatly appreciate your comments guys.

Just wanted to make a couple of points – firstly while it may have been easy to speculate as to the identities of these two AMs it has not been confirmed until now.

And I accept your point that MPs rebel on a regular basis but a rebellion by backbenchers is rare in this Assembly and I think it raises wider questions about the durability of the One Wales coalition.

Progressive Comment said...

Seeing as 1 of them is a member of Cymru X and the other helped set up Cymru X, it's fairly obvious that they wouldn't rebel against party policy like Plaid's leadership.

Sam Tan said...

I love it when the Plaidies get all defensive!